Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

Chores... It's very important to me that my children learn how to be responsible, however I always struggled with finding a system to teach them. Until now.

A couple years ago Dylan received this Melissa & Doug Responsibility Chart for his birthday. We put it up and tried it a couple times, but unfortunately it never stuck. I found myself taking on more responsibility rather than Dyl, which was frustrating. Fast forward to the past few weeks and I'm proud to say that we have consistently used the chart with Dylan taking on much more responsibility.

You can see that he has seven chores that he is responsible for completing every day: No whining (this was driving Dave and I crazy), put toys away, brush teeth (I'm ashamed to say this was done way to inconsistently), do homework, set table, clear table, take out garbage. Before he goes to bed at night he puts a magnet beside each chore that he completed that day. If he doesn't put a magnet on that night he cannot go back to complete it the next day. This is another way he learns responsibility.

Now for the big question. What does he earn for doing his chores? For each magnet that he has on the board he receives .10. So on Sunday morning, we add up his magnets (counting by 10's, which brings in a little math review) and then he receives his allowance. On a perfect week he can earn $5, but I gotta say this hasn't happened yet. We do talk about what happened on the days he doesn't have magnets and what he can do to ensure he gets more next week. He is learning that the more he is responsible then the more money he makes, which is a great lesson. Now my next challenge is figuring out what items he should have to use his allowance to purchase and working on perhaps opening a savings account for him.

Personally, I am loving the responsibility chart because I'm getting some help with chores around the house such as cleaning up toys, setting the table, and taking out the garbage. Plus I get to feel like a super parent since I'm teaching my son responsibility too. I'm even thinking of getting a chart for Zoe for her birthday so we can begin giving her some responsibilities too. Soon maybe I'll just have to sit on the couch with my feet up while they do all the housework. Hey, I can dream can't I?

So tell me. How do you handle chores at your house? What kind of chores do your children have? Do you give your children an allowance or tell them that it is their responsibility since they are part of the family?

To find what's working for everybody else don't forget to visit Rocks in My Dryer!


  1. I have to say...I so need that chart.

    We do have chores, for my 4 year old anyway. (My two year old "helps" Mommy.)
    But for her, I ask her to do something and she does it. No organization, which is why I need the chart.

    As for the "prize"? Well, we kinda sorta promised a horse. Too much? And now what do I do when she thinks she is done and demands the horse!

  2. We're still trying to figure out the whole chore and allowance thing.

    I do like that board - especially the fact that it uses magnets. I could even make one with a small white board and some magnets.

  3. Audrey (6) gets $1.50 a week for making her bed, setting the table, and putting her dishes in the dishwasher after meals.

    Georgia (4) gets $1.00 for making her bed and putting her dishes in the dishwasher.

    In addition, they are expected to help Mommy around the house. They actually are still at the age where they love to help when they are allowed to use the real stuff. (i.e. vacuum, squirt bottle of cleaner, broom & dustpan etc.) I am trying to take advantage of this as long as possible!

  4. That's such a good idea! I definitely want to do something like that when Luke is older.

  5. My kids are older so I find that a chart does not work as well as it could have a few days ago. We see it as it is everyone's job to help out in a family. They each have a room they are responsible for besides their bedrooms. Their allowance is not tied to their chores; it is part of being a family member.

    They are so save a portion but the rest they are allowed to spend on WHATEVER they want.

  6. this is great idea! wish I had something like this for school.
    Abraham is only 3 but he still makes his bed and clears his plate from the dinner table!

  7. I just ordered a wipe-off Kung Fu Panda chart from a school fundraiser. In the past I've used a very generic, hand-drawn chart that we kept very basic. Clean room (I actually broke this up to toys put away, laundry in the basket. Making those tasks specific let the kids know exactly what I was looking for and also added an additional sense of accomplishment), clear your dinner plates, brush teeth, wash your hands. We also put an additional chore that would be someting like help clean the living room or help sort laundry; something that mom asks you to help with.
    We do allowance and that is their money. Brandon usually spends his on action guys and Caedon is a lot pickier. Last week he picked a pair of baby slippers for the new baby.
    We have had a tough time setting an allowance amount, it fluxuates.

  8. I love that chart - and could use it. Off to google it.

  9. I saw the blog title and came on over for the chocolate? Where can I find the chocolate? I need some chocolate now!!! LOL

  10. Such a great way to build incentive into to working for kids as well as giving them a visual measure of their earnings. Opening an online savings account could bring this lesson to the next level for your child. They can see their account on the computer and how compounding interest works. There's incentive right there - watching that money grow. I work with ShoreBank and they offer a High Yield Savings Account for 3.5% APY. It's easy to link up to other accounts and has only a $1 minimum balance. Check them out at


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